On this day: British Troops in France

Sherman tanks of the Staffordshire Yeomanry, 27th Armoured Brigade, carrying infantry from 3rd Division, move up at the start of Operation 'Goodwood', Normandy, 18 July 1944. British Arm

British soldiers head off to fight in Operation Goodwood in Normandy, France, on the 18th of July, 1944. Second World War.

The offensive took place between the 18th and 20th, and resulted in 3474 British casualties and the loss of 314 British tanks.

From the collection of the Imperial War Museum.

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On this day: Renovations in Cambridge

Kings_College_Chapel_1987_-_geograph_org_uk_-_882971Kings College Chapel 1987 Kings College Chapel Cambridge with scaffolding renovations 18th July 1987. England Vintage Retro

Source

King’s College Chapel, Cambridge in England is seen here covered in scaffolding on the 18th of July, 1987.

The chapel, built during the Wars of the Roses, is home to the world’s biggest fan vault, and famous for its stained glass windows.

On this day: the Queen Mother in 1979

Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother is seen here at the opening of the new library of the London School of Economics on the 10th of July, 1979.

The library – located in the Lionel Robbins Building – is in the former headquarters of major bookseller WH Smith.

Sources: 1234

HM_Queen_Mother_at_the_formal_opening_of_the_new_library_in_the_Lionel_Robbins_Building,_10th_July_1979_(3982886515) London

1979 London British Royals England Britain VintageHM_Queen_Mother_at_the_formal_opening_of_the_new_library_in_the_Lionel_Robbins_Building,_10th_July_1979_(39828

HM_Queen_Mother_at_the_formal_opening_of_the_new_library_in_the_Lionel_Robbins_Building,_10th_July_1979_(3982886717)With Jacqueline Whiteside, library assistant.

HM Queen Mother at the formal opening of the new library in the Lionel Robbins Building, 10th July 1979 London British Royals England Britain Vintage

The Chilwell Disaster Anniversary

Women_at_work_during_the_First_World_War-__Q30023Women at work during the First World War- Munitions Production, Chilwell, Nottinghamshire, England, UK, c 1917 1918 explosion disaster W

The factory in 1917.

Today is the 101st anniversary of the Chilwell munitions factory explosion, when 134 people were killed and another 250 injured in England during the First World War.

Chilwell became known for its “Canary girls“, women who worked in dangerous conditions constructing TNT shells for the British military. Photographs of the women were used to promote the British war effort.

Women_at_work_during_the_First_World_War-__Q30023Women at work during the First World War- Munitions Production, Chilwell, Nottinghamshire, England, UK, c 1917 1918 explosion disaster W

1917

Eight tons of TNT blew up in the disaster, and the explosion was heard twenty miles away. Because so few victims were identified a mass grave now stands nearby.

The site of the factory became a military installation, which will close in 2021.

On this day: Queen Victoria in London

Her_Majesty_Greeting_her_People,_Diamond_Jubilee_Pageant,_London,_England Queen Victoria riding a coach through a crowd of onlookers during her Diamond Jubilee procession. 22nd June 1897

Link to enlarge the image.

This photograph was taken in London on the 22nd of June, 1897. Queen Victoria, then aged seventy-eight, takes part in a procession in honour of her Diamond Jubilee – sixty years on the British throne.

The Queen would die less than four years after this image was taken.

100 years ago today: Edith Cavell returns home

Nurse Cavell at Westminster Abbey - After the Armistice her body was brought in state at Westminster Abbey, 15th May 1919.

From the collection of the Imperial War Museums

The body of British nurse Edith Cavell is depicted here being taken to Westminster Abbey in London for a state funeral on the 15th of May, 1919. The image was created by English artist Henry Rushbury.

Cavell, who had helped Allied soldiers escape German-occupied Belgium during the First World War, was arrested by German authorities and executed by firing squad on the 12th of October, 1915.

Cavell’s killing sparked international outrage, and the incident was used in war propaganda in the years following her death.

Love & Desire at the National Gallery

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Canberrans are so lucky to have the National Gallery of Australia. It’s one of the best galleries you’ll find anywhere, and we have some of the best special exhibitions.

At the moment, that special exhibition is Love & Desire – a collection of many of the world’s most famous Pre-Raphaelite works, visiting Canberra from all over (but mostly from the Tate Britain) for several months. We went to see it on Sunday, (and then we walked along the lake to the National Library for lunch on the terrace – it’s still really warm, considering it is mid-autumn here, as in summer-dress warm).

Something I didn’t learn until yesterday was how much William Morris stuff the gallery here actually owns.

Also, it was great to see some of the most famous Ballet Russes costumes out of storage and on display on the way in (we had the common sense to buy them all up before anybody else in the world realised their value. Now, if you want to see – say – Nijinsky’s most famous costumes, you have to come to Canberra!).

Here are a few of the famous works in the exhibition:

John William Waterhouse The Lady of Shalott 1888

John William Waterhouse The Lady of Shalott 1888

John Everett Millais Ophelia 1851-52

John Everett Millais Ophelia 1851-52

William Holman Hunt The awakening conscience 1853

(This is supposed to be a Victorian mistress waking up to how she shouldn’t be living in sin!)

William Holman Hunt The awakening conscience 1853

Ford Madox Brown The last of England 1864-66

(This is MUCH smaller than I always imagined it!)

Ford Madox Brown The last of England 1864-66

Dante Gabriel Rossetti Ecce ancilla domini! (The Annunciation) 1849-50

(This one is amazing and before its time, as it depicts the Virgin Mary being told she will give birth to Jesus as a terrifying moment.)

Dante Gabriel Rossetti Ecce ancilla domini! (The Annunciation) 1849-50